Cleaning a Commercial Ice Maker

Keep Your Commercial Ice Maker Clean

While ice is necessary for frosty beverages, most bar and restaurant owners aren't aware of the dangers that can hide away within commercial ice makers. When industrial ice makers are not regularly drained and cleaned, a biofilm can form which creates a feeding ground for bacteria such as the Norovirus. Several companies who produce various commercial ice makers have begun putting antimicrobial coatings within the equipment. However, this does not mean that cleaning is no longer required. Only with proper handling, cleaning, and maintaining can you reduce the risk of bacteria in your commercial ice bin.


One of the most important handling procedures is to NEVER put bare hands in a bar or restaurant ice maker. Bacteria thrives in a cold environment. Passing microorganisms from your hands into the ice bin is inevitable, meaning you will have to throw out the entire batch, clean, and wait for more ice to be produced. Another way to prevent bacteria contact within your commercial ice machine is to store the ice scoops outside of the bin so that dangerous microorganisms do not contact the ice from the scoop's handle. Any employee who is scooping ice should also thoroughly wash their hands before touching the ice scoops and dipping out the ice they need.


The inside of a new or used ice machine should be cleaned at LEAST every two months. We suggest sooner if possible. When you clean the ice bin, you should first remove all of the ice and use a scale remover that will eliminate any scale that has formed within the bin. The next step is to administer a sanitizer to ensure that all bacteria and microorganisms are eradicated. With regular cleaning, you will not only reduce the risk of illness, but your ice will taste better, too!


While handling and cleaning are extremely important, proper maintenance will guarantee that your machine is running appropriately, as well as pumping out a safe product. By replacing filters frequently, your ice machine will filter out impurities as well as protect against possible contamination. There are even antimicrobial lights that you can place within your commercial ice machines that make it impossible for bacteria to thrive. If you choose to use one of these antimicrobial lights, make sure that you regularly test and replace the light as necessary.

As a restaurant, bar, nightclub, or other food service owner, it is critical to preserve the health and safety of your patrons. Any owner knows that one bad experience can result in terrible reviews and reputation for the establishment. By ensuring the proper handling, cleaning, and maintaining of your ice bin, you will protect your customers and esteem within the community. Do you have any other tips for cleaning restaurant ice makers? We would love to hear about them!

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Let Your Menu Determine the Equipment You Need

Your Menu Will Tell You All You Need to Know

When opening a new restaurant, an owner will be stressed with seemingly endless tasks that continuously arise. However, some are more important than others. For instance, restaurant equipment is essential regardless of what type of food you will prepare. You may be tempted to purchase every piece of commercial kitchen equipment you can possibly think of, but don't! If you first assemble your menu, deciphering the restaurant equipment you need will be nearly painless.

Sandwich Shops

When preparing sandwiches, you will need kitchen equipment such as a refrigerated preparation table, a convection oven, and conveyor toaster, and a commercial microwave. The prep table will offer the perfect spot to assemble your tasty sandwiches. With a convection oven, you will be able to lure customers through the door with the smell of freshly baked bread. If you plan on serving toasted subs, a conveyor toaster will free you from keeping an eye on them so they don't burn. With a commercial microwave, you will be able to melt cheese and reheat any items quickly and effortlessly. There is no need to purchase an expensive range or other equipment that would go unused.


When serving soups, you will need to have a large range that will accommodate multiple large pots. You can also choose to go with multiple stock pot ranges that will fit nicely on top of any countertop or the larger ones that stand on the floor. Another piece of commercial restaurant equipment that is handy for preparing soups is the steam kettle. This handy kitchen appliance heats the soup from all angles, not just the bottom. If you want to ensure that your soups are not scorched throughout the dinner rush, steam kettles are perfect for your restaurant!

Chicken & Steak

When cooking chicken and steak, your restaurant will need an excellent grill, broiler, convection oven, charbroiler, or multiple of these depending on the way you will offer the meat. With a grill or charbroiler, you will achieve those appealing grill marks that people enjoy seeing. A broiler will add quick heat yet keep the middle from cooking quickly. These are perfect for making the most delicious steaks. By utilizing a convection oven in your restaurant, you will be able to ensure that the meat is cooked evenly throughout.

Of course, there are items that every restaurant will need such as commercial sinks, ice machines, and commercial refrigeration, but there is no reason to invest your precious capital in commercial restaurant equipment that you won't use. By planning your entire menu before hitting the restaurant supply store, you will save your assets for more substantial expenditures. If you are looking for new and used restaurant equipment, BCL Restaurant Supply will have everything you could require. For more information, call us today at (618) 274-4112!

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4 Must-Have Apps for Your Restaurant

If you own a restaurant or bar, you know it is a constant struggle to keep everything in order. After you've made sure all of the food is prepped for the day, ordered necessary supplies, and managed the team schedule, you barely have time to take a restroom break. With long hours and strenuous work, restaurant owners and employees can use all the additional help they can get! Below we will highlight some innovative apps that help save those in the food service time so they can finally hit the bathroom!

1. Reservation Apps. If your bar or restaurant is too busy to answer the phone to accept reservations, you should think of utilizing a reservation app such as Open Table. You won't need to worry about constant phone calls to update or cancel reservations, but you'll still be able to offer patrons an easy way to reserve their seat for dinner. Since the app will handle everything electronically, you won't need to keep a ledger with all reservations. The best part? If someone cancels, the seat will be available for another customer to snag!

2. Ordering Apps. Choosing the right moment to take an order can be one of the most complicated strategies for waitstaff. If you approach the table and they are deep in conversation, you may not want interrupt. If someone gets up from the table, you may want to wait for the return. By utilizing a tabletop ordering app such as Ziosk, your customers can place their orders whenever they want. All you have to do is bring it to them so they can enjoy!

3. Payment Apps. When patrons are ready to get their bills and leave, one of the most frustrating experiences for them is waiting forever to pay. By using an app like Table Safe, you are enlisting a digital checkbook to assist customers in completing the payment process. Your waitstaff will drop it off to the table once they finish their meal, and patrons can pay by credit card whenever they're ready. Since the customer never has to hand over their credit card, you will not have to worry about lost cards! It will also save your waitstaff precious time to complete other guests who need food and drinks.

4. Online Ordering and Delivery Apps. If you serve food that can easily be delivered to neighboring patrons, you may just have one problem: staff to provide the food. Well with apps like Postmates and GrubHub, you reap the benefits of expanded volume without the worry of finding reliable delivery drivers. By extending delivery, your bar or restaurant can see a giant increase in sales, and capture neighborhood clients who could become loyal customers to your business!

With these four apps, your bar or restaurant will run a little more smoothly and give you and your waitstaff more time to spend on what is more important: creating an enjoyable experience with tasty dinners and drinks! While these apps won't help you or your waitstaff increase mood or friendliness, we're positive that they are still beneficial!


How to Maintain a Clean Restaurant Kitchen

Maintaining a clean kitchen in a restaurant, bar, or other food service establishment is an owner's number one priority. If a food-bourne illness breaks out, patrons will not return and likely tell their friends and family about their misfortune. This can be devastating for business, and possibly even career ending. Through proper cleaning and sanitization, you can put these fears to rest. It is necessary to ensure that employees are trained on the appropriate methods to guarantee the protection of customers. By clarifying these easy steps with the kitchen team, any place that prepares and sells food can preserve health and safety for all.

1. Surfaces. By sharing with your employees what products to use, having them readily available, and indicating how often to clean them, you can ensure that every surface is properly cleaned throughout the work day. When each surface is sanitized appropriately at multiple times, you can ease your worries that someone will ingest something that will make them ill.

2. Equipment. Training should be provided to any worker who will be cleaning specialty restaurant equipment such as food processors, meat slicers, and espresso machines. The appropriate cleaning materials should be kept near the commercial kitchen equipment so that employees can sanitize the instruments at a moment's notice. When a piece of machinery is constantly in use, it is important to outline how frequently it should be cleaned.

3. Color-Coding. High volume restaurants often utilize color-coded food preparation utensils such as knives and cutting boards to ensure that no cross-contamination takes place within the kitchen. The staff of any restaurant should be aware which color is associated with which food so that boards and knives are only utilized for the associated foods, such as red meat, seafood, poultry, and fruits and vegetables. If a restaurant or bar maintains a visible list of these colors and their codes, it is even less likely that there will be a mistake.

4. Protective Material. Single-use gloves should be available for any employee who is handling food items. If the gloves become dirty, workers will be able to change gloves quickly and easily. Any restaurant should provide strict guidelines that explain when gloves should be switched. Food preparation specialists should wear an apron at all times, and exchange them should they get dirty. Gloves and aprons should also be removed before leaving the kitchen and replaced with fresh gear when they return.

As cross-contamination and dirty commercial cooking equipment can cause and spread bacteria and viruses, a food service kitchen needs to be often cleaned. If you own a bar or restaurant, make sure that your employees are adequately trained on the correct sanitization techniques for all restaurant supplies before they begin working in the kitchen.

This article was inspired by Check out their site for other great tips for restaurant and bar owners!


Stainless Steel: Cleaning Tips

Best Way to Clean Stainless Steel Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Stainless steel is found in nearly every corner of a commercial kitchen. From dish rooms to prep areas, virtually every surface in a restaurant or commercial kitchen is made of the germ resistant material. Restaurant staff cleans the surface of any stainless steel at the end of the work day but are they cleaning it with the best practices to preserve the material? Below we have outlined the best ways to keep the stainless steel commercial kitchen equipment in your restaurant shiny and clean.

1. Use warm water to rinse the surface after each use throughout the day for general care of any stainless steel restaurant equipment.
2. To clean tougher messes, use a non-scratching coarse powder, like baking soda. If you cover the entire surface of the restaurant sink or prep table with baking soda, simply use a soft sponge while scrubbing in the same direction of the polish lines. If you motion in the opposite direction, you will scratch the stainless steel. Instead of water, rinse the baking soda with vinegar. This will remove stains and naturally disinfect.
4. To rid your stainless steel surfaces of resisting stains, like rust, create a paste with cream of tartar and lemon juice. Add this paste directly to the stain, and let it sit for thirty minutes. Next, you will just remove the paste and rinse the area. If the stain persists, add more of the mixture and let it sit a little while longer. This concoction should remove even the toughest stains.
5. To increase the sparkle of your stainless steel prep and cooking equipment, polish with flour, club soda, or lemon peel! Simply apply one of these three items, then rub with a soft cloth, rinse with warm water, and dry, your stainless steel equipment will look brand new!

No matter if you have new or used kitchen equipment, preserving the function and appearance is important. It's also essential to keep your stainless steel as clean as possible, as your restaurant serves many people each day. By following these tips you'll protect customers from illness and yourself from needing to invest in new equipment!

This article was inspired by For more stainless steel tips and information, check out their site!

Restaurant Table and Wall Decor Is Essential to Increase Dining Experience

Placing the Finishing Touches in Your New Restaurant

When opening a new restaurant, there are so many different items to purchase and set in place. From POS systems to commercial kitchen equipment, dining furnishings to flatware, and it doesn't stop there. You will have to create a cohesive menu, hire a friendly wait staff, and find a chef that will make your vision come to live. Unfortunately, there's still more. The restaurant decorations are meant to create a vibe and ambiance that flows with the entire restaurant. By adding these final touches to your wall and table space, you will create an experience for your guests that is one to remember.

Adding the perfect restaurant decor to your walls is important. While guests wait for the delicious meals, they will likely take a look around and discuss what they see. You may choose to hire a photographer that will capture professional pictures of your favorite dishes. If you're specializing in a particular type of food, Spain for instance, you may choose to showcase images of the region. No matter what you choose, ensure that each picture represents what your restaurant has to offer.

If you choose flowers or candles for your table tops, it is important to keep a few things in mind. While flowers are a lovely way to spruce up your tables and add romance to the air, they will likely need to be changed daily. Fresh flowers don't last long and replacing them each day can be quite costly. We suggest you stay away from plastic flowers and plants, as they can cheapen the look you're intending. Candles are also an enchanting way to add to a restaurant atmosphere. However, they will also need to be replaced. Utilizing battery powered votive candles in a beautiful holder can be a better solution for your budget.

While the food and service are highly important, don't let your restaurant decoration fall to the wayside. Regardless of the type of restaurant you are opening, it is critical to ensure that your decorations aren't an afterthought. If you create a space that is inviting and aesthetically pleasing, you're one step closer to impressing the guests.

This article was inspired by For more information, check out their site!


Commercial Convection Ovens

What is a convection oven?

A commercial convection oven is a free-standing unit that uses an internal wall-mounted fan to distribute hot air around the interior chamber. This method of heating reduces cooking times as it eliminates any cold air bubbles surrounding food items. And unlike conventional ovens, large batch recipes cook more evenly throughout, due to the efficient heat distribution.

This efficient piece of equipment has proven to be an indispensable appliance for many commercial kitchens including bakeries and high-volume catering operations. Models are available in half or full sizes with single or double deck designs.

commercial-refrig-4-guide BCL Restaurant Supply can help

Griddle Me This. The Secret to finding the Right Griddle Revealed

Let’s say you walk in to your local greasy spoon diner and order pancakes, eggs, bacon and a burger (it was a long night. Don’t judge!). Chances are pretty good that your food is being prepared on a commercial griddle. Commercial griddles are an invaluable piece of restaurant equipment. In addition to your breakfast bounty, they can cook chicken, sausage, breads and buns with ease by transferring heat from a metal plate directly into the food product. When choosing a griddle, there are two types of griddle plates you can choose from: thin and thick.

Thin PlatesThis plate griddle

Thin plates range from 3/8″ to 3/4″ thick. The benefits of thin plates are that they come up to temperature fast. There is quick heat transfer and faster heat recovery. Also, thin plates require less energy to achieve a set temperature. The disadvantages are few, but should be noted. For instance, thin plates may warp if preheated at high temperatures, so be careful when preheating. Also, they distribute heat less evenly. Thin plates are designed for light and medium-duty operations, such as breakfast-only diners.

Thick Plates

Thick plates range from 1″ to 1-1/2″ thick. Thick plates distribute heat more evenly and are less likely to warp. While thick plates require more energy to bring up to the desired temperature, they will retain heat longer. Thick plates are ideal for heavy-duty operations, such as 24-hour diners. They are also ideal for institutions and schools where frozen foods are more likely to be prepared and need more even heat distribution to cook properly.

Additional BenefitsLarge Thick Plate Griddle

Commercial griddles have individual heating controls, which allow you to cook a variety of foods at once. Side and back splashes contain grease splatter. Best of all, griddles create desirable effects on food, including that perfect golden-brown color and crispy crust that make diners salivate.

Ready to Buy?

Check out our online inventory here to find a huge variety of griddles and other quality pre-owned restaurant equipment, furnishings and supplies. Have a question? Call us at 618-274-4112 to speak with one of our helpful Pre-Owned Specialists. Happy griddling!

Fryers: Should You Scrimp or Splurge?

Let's talk fryers. With stainless, you’re probably not going to hurt your bottom line by having a less-than-beautiful finish on your sink. However, with fryers, saving money up front could very well mean losing money in the long run. When we talk fryers, we’re really not having a conversation about fryers at all, instead we need to talk about oil. Your fryer is going to last a long time; your oil is not. Therefore, when thinking about value, you want to think about oil since it’s going to be replaced far more frequently. The top destroyer of oil is heat - which is necessary to fry. Some have said lowering the temperature of oil just 10 degrees will double the life of your oil (Source: General Filtration).

[pricing_column title="Feature Item"]
[pricing_row]Dean SR162GN[/pricing_row]

[pricing_row]Dean Fryer[/pricing_row]

[pricing_row]75lbs Natural Gas Deep Fryer[/pricing_row]
[pricing_footer link=""]Check It Out[/pricing_footer]
So what’s the difference between an $1,000 and a $5,000 fryer? Many things, but mostly the consistency of the heat put into your oil. Most of the time, economy fryers’ thermostat will have a 20-30 degree variation, most premium ones will be within 3 degrees. This means that when you set your oil at 350, an economy fryer may have it at 320-380, a premium will be 347-353 degrees. Remember how that 10 degree difference can double the life of your oil? You see where I’m going with this...

Let me show you a comparison between two fryer’s oil costs:, an economy Vulcan LG400 vs a premium 1VK45C. Here’s what I’m assuming:

  • Your oil costs $1/lb
  • With an economy fryer, you’re changing the oil twice a week.
  • With the higher end 1VK45C, you’ll be changing the oil once a week.
  • We’re only talking about heat and oil, I’m not factoring in any of the other money-saving features like gas savings or longer warranties on the 1VK45C

Given these assumptions, here’s a chart showing your costs for the fryer and Oil.

BCL Restaurant Supply Fryer Oil Cost Comparison
After the first 2 years, that oil savings is going right to your bottom line. You save about 80% up front going with an economy fryer, but it will cost you in the long run. So, especially with fryers, make sure you think through what you’re going to pay in the long run if you’re thinking about a piece of economy equipment.

As with any large purchase, it’s best not to assume anything. If you still have questions about your equipment purchase, please contact us! We want you to get the best equipment for your needs and are here to help make that happen.

BCL Restaurant Supply offers the largest inventory of pre-owned restaurant equipment. Our products are cheap in cost, but high in quality. Additionally, it all comes with a 30 guarantee.

Check out our whole inventory of new and used commercial fryers and other commerial kitchen equipment here, or contact us at 618.274.4112 or